(MENAFN- Gulf Times) The Al Arabi vs Al Duhail tomorrow clash hogs the limelight among the QNB Stars League Week 13 fixtures. The kick-off is at 16:25 at the Al Arabi Stadium.
Al Duhail will surely take the field in an upbeat mood as they took one more stride towards their march to title after opening up a four-point lead at the top over the chasing pack of Al Sadd and Al Rayyan. The Red Knights widened the gap from two to four points as they are on 32 following their huge victory over Qatar SC.
At the moment, Djamel Belmadi's men look unstoppable and have the distinction of being the only unbeaten team in the tournament. The outstanding form of Moroccan striker Youssef el-Arabi as well as captain and Tunisian attacking midfielder Youssef Msakni should boost their confidence.
El-Arabi has so far bagged 19 goals and looks well set to emulate his top-scorer tally of 24 goals last season. El-Arabi had bagged a hat-trick and Msakni a brace against Qatar SC.
And South Korean playmaker Nam Tae-Hee is there to provide them with precise passes. Add to that, a host of players who can deliver the goods.
Al Duhail will miss the services of Almoez Ali, who is doing duty for Qatar at the Asian Under-23 Championship in China. The striker netted Qatar's both goals in their 2-1 victory over the host nation on Monday that saw them go through to the quarter-finals.
Al Arabi got a much-needed point from their draw against fourth-placed Al Sailiya that saw them jump up by one place to eighth in the standings.
The Dream Team have been showing marginal improvement ever since Luka Bonacic replaced Tunisian coach Qais Yaakoubi. The Croat has focused on strengthening their porous defence that was conceding goals aplenty.
Bonacic said: 'We are up against Al Duhail. Naturally, we are preparing hard for this game in all aspects mainly because Al Duhail are so strong a side. We had a good game against Al Sailiya last week, which was drawn, and we are keen to again put up a fighting performance before our match against Qatar SC in Week 14. That fixture will be crucial for us as we will be fighting with Qatar SC for relegation.
'We are not in awe of Duhail, who are leaders and are unbeaten. We too have the quality. Finally, it is 11 players vs 11 players on the pitch. We will do our best. We will try to restrict them as best as we can, Bonacic added.
Their new signing, Croatian defender Ivan Foster, played his first match against Al Sailiya after being recruited in place of Tunisian defender Ammar Jemal, whose contract with the club was ended recently by mutual consent. If Khalfan Ibrahim and his spirited Al Arabi teammates rise to the occasion, then Al Duhail will find the going tough.
'A draw is enough for us, but we will play to win. We had many problems on the player front initially, but we are somewhat okay now. Our performance has improved and we can aim for a seventh-place finish, Bonacic said.
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